Should you use free apps or insist on using only those you can pay for? Ben Brooks of The Brooks Review makes a compelling case for choosing to go only with paid apps. I agree with him entirely. Anyone who searches for only free apps and glorifies in getting something for nothing risks falling into the trap of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde.
The problem with free apps is that they often disappear when the developer gets bored. Or they languish for months or years without any updates or development. If the software house gets a good income it can afford to improve the product and provide some backup for users.
With iOS apps that come in free or paid versions, I invariably make the contribution. The motivation is not particularly to lose the ads, which often aren’t intrusive, but to encourage the developer to stay interested and productive.
In common with Ben, I long ago discarded the excellent but free Quicksilver launch utility. The problem with QS is that it hasn’t been aggressively developed and has fallen behind in many ways. Probably because it is free. Again, like Ben, I turned to the even more wonderful Launchbar which costs €24. It isn’t a lot of money for such a capable utility but it is a contribution to overheads that should keep the Austrian creators, Objective Developments, in business and keen to improve. What’s more, they are very responsive and helpful if you encounter problems.
When you come to rely on a piece of software day in and day out, it’s a comfort to know there will be continuity and improvement. If it’s worth having, and it does a good job, then it is worth paying for. You get what you pay for, after all.